New York Natural Heritage Program
Northern Running-pine
Diphasiastrum complanatum (L.) Holub
Clubmosses
Diphasiastrum complanatum showing annual bud constrictions. Stephen M. Young
Family: Club-moss Family (Lycopodiaceae)

State Protection: Endangered
listed species are those with: 1) 5 or fewer extant sites, or 2) fewer than 1,000 individuals, or 3) restricted to fewer than 4 U.S.G.S. 7 minute topographical maps, or 4) species listed as endangered by U.S. Department of Interior.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S1
A State Rarity Rank of S1 means: This plant is endangered/critically imperiled in New York because of extreme rarity (typically 5 or fewer populations or very few remaining individuals) or is extremely vulnerable to extirpation from New York due to biological factors.

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: This species is demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


Did you know?
Diphasiastrum species are part of a family of plants known as clubmosses. These "primitive" plants are living relics of some of the earliest vascular plants. There are abundant fossils of tree-sized clubmosses, sometimes depicted in displays of dinosaurs. Such specimens are closely related to the smaller clubmosses still found today (Wikipedia, accessed 5/20/2008.)

The common name Northern Running-pine refers to the underground stems or "runners" which connect many plants. It is also known as Christmas Green, because it stays green throughout the year, and Ground-cedar, presumably because its appressed stems resemble the branchlets of Northern White-cedar (Thuja occidentalis).

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are only 6 existing occurrences, with only half of those are ranked better than "fair". The 8 historical occurrences date mostly from the 1940s and 1950s.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]